• FCPA

    Vantage Drilling, General Lee and the Culture of Compliance

    Gin is a noble spirit; without vermouth, perhaps a lonely one.  Similarly, having a compliance program, yet failing to follow it in the presence of some red flags is both lonely and expensive, as we see in the internal accounting controls FCPA case that Vantage Drilling recently settled with the SEC.  Is this a problem with culture?  And what is “culture,” anyway, in terms of FCPA compliance? Except perhaps for “paradigm” and “silo,” the word “culture” is one of the most abused in the vocabulary of compliance, ethics and consultants.  (I once heard a consultant say that he needed “a high hover over the silos.”  I thought it an ironic mash-up…

  • Cocktails,  jazz,  Theology

    Thanksgiving Notebook: Bing, Booze, Book of Common Prayer

    Unlike the music of Christmas or Easter, the music of Thanksgiving is harder to pinpoint.  Shuffling leaves?  The drum-brush strokes of a knife carving the turkey?  Vince Guaraldi, an early lead-up to Christmas through the dim or vivid Charlie Brown television-memories of readers of a certain age?  An uncertain business, but here are a couple of thoughts. First, when in doubt, start in the seventeenth century.  The “Te Deum & Jubilate for Voices and Instruments made for St. Cecilia’s Day 1694” of Henry Purcell was apparently performed as a Thanksgiving piece, as noted by Michael Evans Kinney and the Stanford libraries: While not much is known about the early St.…

  • Cocktails

    The Gibson: Thanks, Given

    If one writes poetry in bound verse, the poet must follow the rules or the form loses its character.  “Blank verse” is written in un-rhymed iambic pentameter.  It can be written in another form, or no form at all, but it will no longer be blank verse.  The thing is its form. Similarly, the martini is (or should be) akin to the bound verse of cocktails.  The true list of potential alcohols — gin, vermouth — is austere.  There are two popular garnishes — the twist and the olive — and one nearly forgotten: the cocktail onion.  The combination of gin, vermouth and a cocktail onion (or two or three)…

  • Cocktails

    Gin Van, Joan Collins and Rare Earth

    Friday is upon us, so a few notes about cocktails. The cocktail snob is suffering a (deserved) backlash, as Robert O. Simonson of the New York Times points out in When Bad Drinks Go Good: Just as the cocktail renaissance has brought renewed fame to classics like the martini, the Manhattan and the Negroni, it has heaped fresh infamy on a rogues’ gallery of less classy concoctions, most of which emerged during the final decades of the last century. Now a backlash of sorts has begun, as some high-end bartenders apply their skills to a new challenge: doing bad drinks well. Bars like Holiday Cocktail Lounge in New York; Pépé Le Moko…

  • Cocktails

    The Drinking Reader, Our Cocktails Magazine, Tom Jones and Other Weekend Matters

    White Collar Wire supports cocktails. As part of that effort, I have a magazine on Flipboard called (helpfully) “Cocktails.”  Follow here, read on and use good ice. Two items we focus on — books and cocktails — come together in How to Build a Solid Drinking Library, by New York Times writer (and bartender) Rosie Schaap: Are there places I like as much as great bars? Yes: great bookshops. And if I had to pick a favorite in the latter category, it’s Dog Ears Book Barn in the little town of Hoosick, N.Y. Conveniently, it’s just a little ways down Route 7 from the Man of Kent, one of America’s best…

  • Cocktails

    Memorial Day Weekend Cocktails, Plus A Navy Seal’s Commencement Speech

    Best wishes for a happy Memorial Day weekend from White Collar Wire. From the New York Times, this set of interactive videos about summer cocktails is a great start to the weekend. The Thin Man movies starring Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) combine two elements of our mission (cocktails and crime fiction).  This montage from several “Thin Man” films has some of their best martini-hits.   We support gin here at White Collar Wire.  See this article about the renewal of gin in London.  And, on the subject of gin, from Liquor.com is this video on the Corpse Reviver Number 2. Tiki drinks are a hot-weather favorite.  From Saveur.com,…

  • Cocktails

    Come Fly With Me: Airplane Drinks, Beer For Breakfast, Cocktail Science and Socrates

    Our notes on cocktails this Friday. From Gastronomista, an Avua Cachaca Pam Am cocktail: I was recently introduced to Avuá Cachaça, a relatively new cachaça on the market.  After a boozy night out on the town touring some of New York City’s best bars, including Sasha Petrosky’s famed Milk & Honey, I’m convinced that this is a bottle I want to keep in my library of libations.     Please place your seats and trays in their upright and locked position.   Indeed, on YouTube, “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra.                   From Saveur, for those who like it dark and early…

  • Cocktails

    Weekend Cocktail Notes from White Collar Wire

    “’This is a good place,’ he said. ‘There’s a lot of liquor,’ I agreed.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises Gin is juniper, in our opinion.  Gin should not be “citrus-forward”: Is The Gin Category In Danger of Losing Its Way?  F. Scott Fitzgerald, On Booze From the advertising blurb: “First you take a drink,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once noted, “then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” Fitzgerald wrote alcohol into almost every one of his stories. On Booze gathers debutantes and dandies, rowdy jazz musicians, lost children and ragtime riff-raff into a newly compiled collection taken from The Crack-Up, and other works. On Booze…